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Knowledge and Innovation Communities - KIC

The Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are the independent but operational parts of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which puts the innovation web into practise.

A KIC is a highly integrated, creative and excellence-driven partnershipwhich brings together the fields of education, technology, research, business and entrepreneurship, in order to produce new innovations and new innovation models that inspire others to emulate it. They are to become key drivers of sustainable economic growth and competitiveness across Europe through world-leading innovation. The KICs will be driving effective “translation” between partners in ideas, technology, culture, and business models, and will create new business for existing industry and for new endeavours.

KICs are legally and financially structured entities of internationally distributed but thematically convergent partners. These partners involve key actors from the three sides of the knowledge triangle: research, higher education, and innovation-entrepreneurship-business. KICs build innovative webs of excellence across the knowledge triangle with the intention of addressing key societal challenges. KICs must address a long-term horizon of 7 to 15 years, but with short-, mid- and long terms objectives that follow the mission of the KIC.

The relationship between the KICs and the EIT in Budapest is organised on a contractual basis, leaving a great degree of autonomy to the KICs to define their own legal status, internal organisation and working methods.

The KICs involve businesses, research and higher education.

KICs bring together different people working together across the innovation web. Key actors include: businesses (including SMEs); entrepreneurs; research and technology organisations; higher education institutions; investment communities (private investors and venture capital); research funders, including charities and foundations; local, regional and national governments.

According to the EIT Regulation, the activity of a KIC must involve at least three independent partner organisations.

The partners must be established in at least three different EU Member States and must include at least one higher education partner and one private company. With the intention of strengthening the innovation capacity, KICs may also include non-Member State partners.